The Great Old Ones On The Great White Way

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Pages: 22

Author(s): Joseph Isenberg

Artist(s): (none)

Setting: 1920s New York, Halloween 1922

Appears in: Dead Leaves Fall and Other Halloween Horrors

Campaign: Secrets of New York (suggested, but not required)


The investigators, who may or may not be known to one another, have been invited to have lunch with a casual acquaintance, Sterling Hansen, at Schlockwitz’ delicatessen, at noon, on Monday, 30 October, 1922. Each received a note, very brief, asking for the meeting, and explaining that Hansen wants help with a delicate problem: one of his clients, Elsie Johnson, has gone missing. She had been cast to star as the leading singer in the new Julius Marsh musical comedy, The Stars Are Right. Hansen is entitled, as the agent for Elsie, to a percentage of her wages, which will not be insignificant. He wants the investigators to find Elsie, bring her back to the theater, hopefully able to open tomorrow at 8 PM. If she is not there, he is out his commission. As the investigators dig into the musical and the missing actress, they soon discover that something fishy is going on....


Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.


 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

The investigators are hired to help find a missing showgirl, while a hitherto unknown artistic branch of the Marsh family makes its appearance, and a chorus of singing, dancing Deep One hybrids also takes a bow upon the stage. But the actual horror comes, crucially, off-stage as the investigators must thwart a white-slavery ring operated by a madwoman and some Tcho-Tcho henchmen.


Player Handouts:

  • Over a dozen handouts are included, mostly newspaper clippings of reviews and strange events surrounding the Marsh musical productions.
  • Some handouts mentioned in the scenario (the song lyrics) were left out of the scenario; they can be found by following the link in the "links" section above.

Locations: New York, October 30-31, 1922

  • New York
    • Schlockwitz’ delicatessen
    • Marsh Theater
    • The Gangplank, a Deep One hang-out
    • Any Public Library
    • New York Weekly Messenger
    • Reardon Boarding House
    • The Burmah Star, a run-down steamer
    • A Central Park apartment (if the investigators choose to try to follow a "red herring")
    • House of Erich Zann
    • House of Phipps Howard
    • Mei Brothers’ laundry
  • Allentown, PA (if the investigators choose to try to follow a "red herring")
  • Innsmouth, MA (if the investigators choose to try to follow a "red herring")
  • Cos Cob, CT (if the investigators choose to try to follow a "red herring")


Tomes and Artifacts:

  • The musical, The Stars Are Right (" incredibly bad. Indeed, a malicious Keeper may wish to impose a 0/1d2 SAN check owing to the severe amount of drivel that an investigator may have to wade through. Similarly, the music of the show [by Erich Zann], while highly modernistic and atonal, is playable, and nothing unusual.")

Campaigns / Scenarios:


List dedication, trivia, images, anything else of note.

Subtitle: "A parody, a pastiche, a homage, a musical comedy, a mystery, and a horror story, all in three acts."

Scenario epigraphs:

  • "We can even find as much pleasure in lampooning his [Lovecraft’s] ideas and motifs as in taking them at face value.” - Call of Cthulhu, 6th Edition
  • "What did you mean, 'kill the actors'? Actors aren't animals. Actors are human beings." "They are? Have you ever eaten with one?" - Mel Brooks, The Producers
  • "Never cross Sixth Avenue if you can help it. This assumes that you are on the East Side to begin with." "What caused you to come up with that?" "Experience." - William A. Rusher, "Rusher’s Third Law", as quoted in "National Review"

Keeper Comments

Comments to Keepers about this scenario; Possibly how to run it successfully. Keep general DISCUSSION on the talk page.

Setting: Halloween, 1922, New York. Probably best left there, due to the period musical theater theme.

Special Notes: The scenario's parodic tone could come off as something of a "Big-Lipped Alligator Moment" if used in a serious campaign for very serious groups, so it might not work for every group, and many groups it would work with, might accept it better on a special occasion, so this scenario would probably lend itself well to being used as a one-shot, or, with the right group, comic relief between really dark chapters of a campaign.

Dependence on Halloween: Virtually none: the scenario is set on Halloween, and is sort of a Halloween prank, but any other date (say, April Fool's Day) could work just as well with almost no rewriting.

Sequel Plot Hooks: The Deep One chorus might be pursued further, as well as the Innsmouth connections to the producers and cast; the dream sequences suggest further adventures as well.